Underinsured Motorist Coverage - Not Occupying The Covered Auto

The Fairfax, Virginia Drunk Driving Accident

My 17 year-old daughter, Beth, while walking to school on the sidewalk, in Annandale, Virginia, was badly injured in a Fairfax County, Virginia drunk driving accident. Her thigh bone was badly broken. She suffered a comminuted fracture. She is left with a large metal rod in her thigh bone with metal screws. She had a scholarship to UVA to play soccer next year. Now, she walks with a limp and cannot run. The drunk driver has minimum limits auto liability insurance of $25,000 and no assets. My wife and I have an auto policy with Hartford with $1,000,000 in Virginia car accident liability and underinsured motorist coverage. Hartford has denied underinsured motorist coverage saying that my daughter "was not in a covered auto" at the time of her drunk driving car accident. Mr. Schwartz, can they do this to us?


The insurance company is violating the rights of injured car accident victims. Virginia law mandates that your daughter, Beth, need not be occupying your "covered auto" to be covered for her Fairfax drunk driving accident injuries under your Hartford policy for underinsured motorist benefits.

Your daughter is called a "first class insured" because she resides in your household. Like you and your wife, she gets "first class underinsured motorist coverage." She is entitled to underinsured motorist coverage wherever injured -- in a friend's car, on a bus, while walking down the street -- anywhere when injured by a motor vehicle.

Insurance companies often try to deny underinsured motorist benefits by saying: "The policyholder or a family member was not occupying a 'covered auto' when injured in a motor vehicle accident." The covered auto is usually the auto listed on your Virginia auto policy. This insurance practice is a violation of Virginia auto insurance law. For an example of how Alexandria personal injury and car accident attorney Gerald Schwartz fought this denial of insurance coverage and forced the insurance company to pay his client, please click "Fighting for Virginia Underinsured Motorist Coverage."

Maximizing Recovery --
Insurance Law Presentation By Gerald Schwartz At The 2011
Virginia Trial Lawyers Association's Annual Convention

A family member residing in the policyholder's household is entitled to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage by her status as "resident of the household."

For a detailed analysis of the full extent of "resident of the household" insurance coverage by Virginia auto accident lawyer, Gerald Schwartz, click his seminar presentation legal article entitled "Maximizing Recovery -- Resident of the Household - The Gateway to First Class Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage."

Free Consultation

Virginia auto accident attorney Gerald Schwartz has 30 years experience helping people seriously injured in car accidents in Annandale and Fairfax, Virginia and all across Northern Virginia. For a free consultation to learn your rights, call Gerald Schwartz at 703.823.0055.